Marketing corn and soybeans promises to be a challenge for Iowa grain producers who expect to harvest record crops this fall, according to an Iowa State University (ISU) Extension and Outreach crop markets economist.

"For both crops, whether you use the futures market or USDA (U.S. Department of Agriculture) projections, farmers are staring at prices below the ISU estimated costs of production, which are $4.50 per bushel for corn and $11 per bushel for soybeans," said Chad Hart, an associate professor of economics. "So pricing opportunities are thin."

New-crop corn prices in central Iowa are in the $3 to $3.25 range, while prices for soybeans are in $9.50 to $10 range.

The last yield report by the USDA estimated a little more than 14 billion bushels of corn...